By Evan Karp
Mikhail Shishkin was considered one of Russia's greatest contemporary writers before becoming the first to win all three of the nation's top literary prizes less than two years ago. His novel Maidenhair has been compared to Ulysses, War & Peace, and The Savage Detectives for its combination of epic, profound themes, and lucid prose. Shishkin recently made international headlines for pulling out of Book Expo America because he doesn't want to represent Putin's government; a major statement, as the conference often plays an important role for literature seeking English translation.
"The situation in my country is unworthy of its people and its great culture," he says via email. "It doesn't matter how long the Putin regime could stand -- one year or ten years -- this regime is the past." He is a resident of Switzerland, and this is a rare U.S. appearance for him. Hosted by the Center for the Art of Translation, this will be an intimate chance to speak directly with the author.
Center for the Art of Translation: Mikhail Shishkin starts April 4th at 7 p.m. at Hotel Rex, 562 Sutter Street, S.F. $10-$15; call 512-8812 or visit catranslation.org/events.